PENSACOLA, Fla. (March 15, 2021) – The 2021 Alabama–NW Florida PGA Tournament Season officially began on Monday at Pensacola Country Club. The venue has become a favorite for PGA Professionals and Associates since it hosted the 2018 Alabama–NW Florida PGA Professional Championship. The rugged, sandy, almost links-style layout is perched overlooking Pensacola Bay and provides a true test for any skill level. Sitting right in between downtown Pensacola and the Naval Air Station at Forrest Sherman Field, the set-up was fair yet aggressive for the forty-five-player field to kick off the new season.
Host PGA Professional, David Pilkington got off to an up-and-down start making three bogies, one eagle and one birdie on the front nine. He would be the only player all day to make an eagle on the short, but tricky par-five eighth hole. He was able to gain some traction with the help from birdies on holes 11, 13, 14 and 15 and finish his round at four-under par. PGA Associate at Pensacola Country Club, Henry Westmoreland got off to a better start and was able to make four birdies and one bogey on the front nine, turning at three-under 33. He would end up finishing the way he started with two bogies and two birdies on the back nine to post a finishing score of three-under 69.
Meanwhile, Life Member, Mike Genovese got his front-nine started with an ideal four birdies on holes 1, 4, 8 and 9 and no bogies to make the turn in 32. He was able to remain steady throughout the afternoon as winds and rain bands coming off of Pensacola Bay intensified. Genovese finished his back nine with two more birdies and only one bogey, finishing with an impressive five-under par 67 to take the title.
Rounding out the top five were four players who all tied for fourth place. Robbie Blackwell (Robbie Blackwell Golf), David Hanson (Camp Creek Golf Club), Mike Giammaresi (Regatta Bay G & C.C.) and Todd Bailey (Dewsweepers Performance Academy) all finished with rounds of two-under par 70.
The Alabama–NW Florida PGA is excited to start a new season in 2021 and continue its trend of easing back into the game on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic. “The 2021 season promises to be a memorable one,” says Executive Director, Bart Rottier. “As we reflect on the past year, golf just means so much more to us now. This time last year, we were canceling our entire spring schedule and heading into uncharted territory. We learned a lot in 2020 and it’s exciting to be turning our focus to a new, brighter chapter in our Section’s history.”
“Our thanks to David Pilkington and his staff for always welcoming our PGA Professionals and Associates to one of our favorite venues in the Section,” says Tournament Director, Wade Dockery. “We look forward to returning to Pensacola Country Club early and often down the road.” The Section schedule takes a slight break heading into the second half of March as it gears up for the Korn Ferry Tour Monday qualifier for the Emerald Coast Classic at Burnt Pine G.C. and Emerald Bay G.C. in Sandestin, Fla. The Section will pick up the action at the Biolyte Match Play Qualifier and Round One Matches at Indian Hills Country Club in Tuscaloosa on Monday, April 19.
Media Contact: Hayden Lewis, PGA – HLewis@pgahq.com
ABOUT THE ALABAMA–NW FLORIDA PGA
The Alabama – NW Florida PGA is one of 41 Sections that make up the PGA of America. Our Section is headquartered in the Birmingham suburb of Pelham, Alabama at Ballantrae Golf Club. Established in 1969, the Section consists of over 400 Members and Associates in the state of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. The Section exists to support its Members who are the driving force to growing the sport and business of golf.